Common Types of Termite Fraud in Alabama

You may have hired an Alabama pest control company to get rid of termites in your home or business, but after the treatment was finished, you are still having problems with these critters. This might not be your fault, and in fact, there is a good chance that the company you hired might be guilty of termite fraud.

Pest control companies are professionals who are expected to be competent in their field, and they are obligated to provide quality service and conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Unfortunately, many of these companies fail to abide by even the minimum standards that are required by law. The end result is that many homeowners and commercial building owners are left having to deal with thousands or potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs that should not have been necessary.

If you find yourself with extensive termite damage after dealing with a pest control company that promised to get rid of this problem, you may have the right to file a termite fraud claim against the company responsible for this. Hedge Copeland, P.C. is currently accepting termite litigation cases, and we are available to provide a free consultation to discuss your case. Call us right away at (251) 432-8844 or message us online to get started.

How Pest Control Companies May Be Guilty of Termite Fraud

There are several common ways that a pest control professional may defraud a homeowner or business owner:

Termite Inspection Fraud

An inspector from a pest control company might say that they performed a thorough inspection of the property and that it is “termite free”, but in reality, they did not look over every area. This type of fraud is common when someone purchases a property and hires a professional to inspect it for termite damage. This can obviously become a big problem later on if you took possession of a property and you did not realize that there were termites. When the termites cause widespread damage in the future, the company that failed to uncover the problem in the beginning should be held accountable.

Using Cheap and Ineffective Treatments

Some pest control companies try to save a few dollars by using chemicals that are lower quality and do not effectively eliminate all of the termites. For example, the company might use a product that only kills the termites that it comes in contact with, while the rest of them retreat into hidden, non-treated areas and reproduce. This might provide the initial impression that the home is termite free, but in reality, they are highly likely to resurface later and potentially cause widespread damage.

Planting False Evidence of Termite Infestation

This may be difficult to believe, but there are some so-called professionals who will actually plant false evidence of the presence of termites, so you will pay them a large sum of money for extermination. Just like a crooked police officer who plants evidence on someone they are targeting, the inspector might plant some shed termite wings or waste pellets and show them to you as proof that you have termites.

Failure to Treat the Entire Termite Problem

Some pest control contracts have very slippery language in which they provide “control” rather than “extermination” services. They might imply that they are getting rid of the termites for you, but all they are really doing is reducing the size of the colony. Like we talked about with using ineffective treatments, if you do not kill off the entire colony, the termites will reproduce, and they will become a big problem later on. Be sure you fully understand what is in these pest control contracts, so you are not deceived into receiving an overpriced and low-quality service.

Failure to Honor their Contract

Speaking of contracts, pest control professionals have numerous excuses for not honoring their obligations to their customers, often citing misleading and deceptive contract language. Some examples of excuses you might receive include:

  • We do not see any live termites, so this is old damage and we are not required to pay.
  • Your contract has expired, so we cannot help you.
  • We are not responsible because there is moisture and rot damage around the affected area.
  • We are under no obligation to find hidden damage.
  • This damage is from Formosan termites, and we are only responsible for subterranean termite damage.
  • This damage is not from termites at all, it is from carpenter ants and we do not cover those.
  • We can’t help you with your problem unless you sign a new contract with us.

When some of these issues with the pest control company come to the surface, you might find that it becomes very difficult to get a hold of them, or at least to get a hold of the right person. They give you the runaround when you call in, and they never return your calls. These are all signs that they are ignoring you in hopes that you will get frustrated by the situation and go away.

If you are dealing with termite damage and any of the above situations has happened to you, do not give up. Get in touch with an experienced termite litigation lawyer as soon as possible to review your case.

For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Hedge Copeland, P.C. today at (251) 432-8844. You may also send us a message through our online contact form.

Signs Your Home Might Have Termite Damage

One of the biggest dangers that Alabama homeowners need to watch out for is termite damage. Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion every year, and they can cause major problems both on the inside and the outside of the property. The last thing that any homeowner wants is to end up with widespread damage from termites, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. So, the earlier you identify the possibility of termite damage, the better.

If you hired a pest control company to prevent and to get rid of termites in your house but you are still seeing signs of termite damage, you might have a claim, and you need to act quickly and contact someone who will fight for you. For a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced termite litigation attorney, contact Hedge Copeland, P.C. today by calling (251) 432-8844 or sending us an online message. We are ready to go to work for you.

Warning Signs that your Home may have Termite Damage

There are several signs that you might have termites in your home, here are some of the most common:

Groups of Winged Insects or Discarded Wings

One of the most obvious signs of the likelihood of termite damage is the actual sighting of termites, or the evidence of their presence. You will usually notice groups of “winged termite swarmers” flying around in the late afternoon or evening and congregating by the dozens or hundreds near light sources. These are reproductive termites that are taking flight to form new colonies. Subterranean termites usually swarm during the spring, while drywood termites are not as predictable. Even if you do not see the termites swarming, you might notice groups of discarded termite wings, which is a tell-tale sign that there are colonies forming nearby.

Termite Droppings/Frass

After eating through the wood inside a home, drywood termites produce droppings that are known as frass. Frass looks similar to wood pellets or birdseed, and when termites are present, piles of it can accumulate in various areas of the home.

Hollow-Sounding Wood

One of the main reasons that termites have the potential to inflict widespread damage in a home before the homeowner realizes it is because they prefer dark, humid environments such as the interior areas of the wood. Typically, you will not observe them feeding on the wood’s surface, so the surface may appear to be in good condition. The best way to find out if there might be termites munching on the wood from the inside out is to tap on the surfaces and listen for a hollow sound. If there is no termite damage, you should hear and feel a solid sound, but wood that is damaged on the inside will sound hollow, and the hollower it sounds, the greater the extent of the damage.

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites that are building their colonies construct mud tubes that allow them to move from the ground into the home. These tubes are narrow tunnels that retain moisture while the termites search for food. You might notice abnormal mud or dirt buildups in corners and joints between various surfaces, which may be a sign of subterranean termites.

Small Holes, Softened, Bubbled or Cracked Paint on Walls and Windows

Termites can enter the home through even the tiniest openings. So, if you notice small holes, bubbling, softened, cracked or flaking paint on the windows, walls, and/or baseboards, this could be a sign of termite infestation. These signs are often mistaken for minor water damage and dismissed, so be sure to pay close attention and look for other signs of termite damage if you see any of these things happening.

Exterior Wood Damage

Any exterior wood that appears to have problems on the surface could be an attractive entry point particularly for subterranean termites. These types of termites are drawn especially to wood that has moisture damage, so be on the lookout for bare, exposed, or rotted exterior wood. Pay close attention to any areas of wood to ground contact.

What to Do if Your Home has Termite Damage

If you have noticed any signs of termite damage in your home, the first and immediate step is to get a professional termite inspection. Be careful, however, because termite fraud is rampant in the industry, and even some of the best-known pest control companies have been successfully sued and forced to pay significant damages to homeowners that they have defrauded.

If you are currently dealing with a pest control company that has not fulfilled their obligation to help you eliminate termites, contact Hedge Copeland, P.C. today to discuss your legal rights and options. We look forward to serving you!